Countering the prevailing notion that good brand experiences are always seamless, convenient and friendly, Nike’s latest footwear launch promo boasts a distinctly challenging edge.
Called NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 (a homage to Nasa’s Mars explorations and the extraordinary kit that went with them), the new trainer reunites Nike and American artist Tom Sachs, reprising the duo’s original 2012 launch of the shoe. Pushing to make it as covetable as it was initially, anyone wanting to buy it must literally work (out) for it.
Interested parties sign up for Tom Sachs’ Space Camp – a bootcamp-style brand experience currently on Governors Island, NY – the crux of which is a workout series including a deadlift course, a knot-tying challenge, push/chin ups, ab wheel rollouts and a balance-beam walk, culminating in jumping onto the roof of a pick-up truck. The toughness of the tasks all but ensures failure – a conscious decision to reveal participants’ coping mechanisms and thus the inherent link between physical and mental strength. Emphasising the hardcore endurance aspect of the experience, the space is littered with surly-looking Nike trainers.
The concept was apparently inspired by the paces Sachs puts his own studio team through tri-weekly to build mental endurance and agility.
Course finishers get the opportunity to buy the trainers for $200. Later, there will also be a chance to buy them online by undertaking “five tests of digital dexterity” – details to be confirmed.